Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said the Local Content Act 2010 is the driving force in the increased participation of indigenous companies in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
He lauded the efforts of indigenous companies who have taken advantage of the law to invest and participate and especially singled out Lee Engineering and Construction Company for commendation for investing a whooping $100 million in a fabrication plant in Warri, Delta State.
Delivering a lecture on Wednesday, in Houston, United States of America, on the topic “LOCAL CONTENT AS A DRIVER FOR TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT”, Jonathan said “only recently, one of Nigeria’s indigenous oil servicing firms (Lee Engineering) established a $100 million fabrication plant in the Niger Delta region.
With this plant the local company intends to serve the fabrication and industrial needs of Nigeria and Africa, especially in the petroleum and power sectors”.
He lauded the “boost in the promotion of indigenous participation and the fostering of technological transfer as reflected in appreciable local growth in such technical areas as line-pipe mills, pipe coating, paint and cables manufacturing, as well as improved fabrication capacity”.
Citing another positive development he noted “that Nigerians have developed the capacity to carry out most onshore upstream activities, just as many Nigerian companies involved in drilling activities are competing favourably with industry leaders.
More than 38% of registered marine vessels currently belong to Nigerians, up from a time when indigenous operators could only boast of less than 10% ownership of the operating vessels”.
The former Nigerian leader attributed the boost in local technologies in the sector to the development of R&D guideline and strategy, involving the participation of industry
players, academia and government in the wake of the Local Content Act.
With the initiative, Jonathan said “local operators are now benefitting from the prevailing order where over 90% of contracts are awarded to Nigerian companies or foreign companies that are in partnerships with Nigerian firms. Before the local content law came on stream, less than 20% of contracts in the industry were conceded to indigenous companies”.